NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A suspect was arrested and charged Monday with attacking a female police officer in East Harlem, causing her to fall to the ground and suffer broken teeth.
John Pica, 26, was charged Monday with assault on a police officer in connection with the incident at 1:30 a.m. Sunday.
Two Impact Officers assigned to the Clinton Houses public housing development, on Park Avenue near 104th Street, allegedly saw three men and a woman smoking marijuana at the rear entrance to one of the buildings, police said.
The officers tried to arrest all four of the alleged pot smokers, but one of them attacked one of the officers – a woman – and caused her to fall to the ground, police said.
The officer was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where she was treated and released for broken teeth, cuts to the face, and a complaint of head pain, police said.
Earlier Monday, members of the group Advocates Without Borders and its spokesman, activist Tony Herbert, gathered at Police Plaza in support of the 26-year-old rookie officer. They said the officer was punched in the face, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
“We will not tolerate violence against people in our community, nor will we tolerate violence against public servants and what have you, because law abiding citizens are who we are and we are not lawless and we never promote that in our community,” Herbert said at the news conference.
Herbert decried the very idea that someone would attack a female officer.
“A woman to be beaten and have her teeth knocked out, to have emergency surgery, it speaks to the point that we are savages in our community and those individuals that committed this crime need to go to jail,” he said.
Pica has 26 prior arrests since January 2006. Some of the charges included criminal possession of a weapon, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and marijuana possession, police sources told CBS 2.
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